HC Deb 17 June 1981 vol 6 c1019
17. Mr. Donald Stewart

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what representations he has received about the provision of resident nurses for islands such as Vatersay.

Mr. Fairgrieve

My Department received representations from the Vatersay Community Association in March 1980. The association was advised to put its views on the provision of nursing services to the Western Isles health board.

Mr. Stewart

Is the Minister aware that the people of Vatersay are extremely concerned that they do not have the services of a resident nurse, particularly when they are isolated by weather from the services of the nurse and doctor in Barra? As they enjoyed the services of a resident nurse in the past, and as there are a fair number of aged and disabled people who could do with daily attention, can he not lean on the Western Isles health board to get it to make an appointment?

Mr. Fairgrieve

We try not to lean on health boards. We prefer them to make their own decisions. The population of Vatersay is only 90, so it is difficult to justify the services of a full-time nurse.